Dharmarajan went missing after being released on bail in October 2002.

For the State police, it’s back to square one with the third accused and the only convict in the Suryanelli rape case, Dharmarajan, speaking to a Malayalam news channel from an undisclosed location on Monday.

Dharmarajan went missing after coming out on bail from Poojappura Central Prison on October 25, 2002. He had been admitted to prison on July 13, 2002, after being sentenced to life imprisonment by the special court.

He had moved an appeal against the sentence at the Kerala High Court and secured bail. While he was out on bail, the High Court acquitted 35 other accused and reduced Dharmarajan’s sentence to five years.

The High Court, while rejecting the accusation of rape, convicted Dharmarajan under section 366 A (for inducing a girl aged below 18 years to have illicit intercourse with another person) and 372 (for selling minors for purpose of prostitution). Though he was supposed to surrender before the police after his sentence was revised, he did not turn up. The warrant issued in his name expired in 2010, police sources said. It is learnt that the Superintendent of Police, Kottayam, has been asked to re-issue the warrant against him.

Dharmarajan had been missing when the trial of the case started at the special court and charge sheet was filed against 39 persons out of total 42 accused then. One had died by then and another could not be identified. Dharmarajan stayed low for nearly 60 days before he was tracked to a granite quarry in Karnataka and brought to face trial.

Lawrence unsure if Nayanar was lenient

CPI (M) leader M.M. Lawrence on Monday said he was unsure whether former Chief Minister E.K. Nayanar had been lenient to P.J. Kurien in connection with the Suryanelli case.

Talking to media persons, the veteran trade union leader said, “I don’t know whether Nayanar showed generosity to Mr. Kurien in the case. As Nayanar is not alive, there is no way to crosscheck it.”

Responding to a question on why no evidence had come out against Mr. Kurien during V.S. Achuthanandan’s tenure as Chief Minister, Mr. Lawrence said the question should be put to Mr. Achuthanandan, who is now the Leader of Opposition.

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